Azimio leaders threaten mass protests if talks fail
Azimio La Umoja yesterday threatened a fresh round of countrywide protests should its demands not be met by the National Dialogue Committee talks.
The coalition’s co-principal Martha Karua announced that they will not compromise on their demands about the report and that they will head to the streets if the report is not satisfactory to them.
The Narc Kenya leader called on their supporters to prepare to stand for their rights should demonstration be the only option to compel the government to listen to them.
“Hata kama tutasafirishwa mbinguni, through killings during demonstrations, as Narc Kenya and as the people of Kenya, we are saying, should the talks fail, as they look to be failing, we will not forgo our rights. We will go back to the streets if necessary. We are going to exercise our political, civil and human rights to the fullest,” Karua said.
Karua’s tough stance was however downplayed by Azimio leader Raila Odinga who said they will announce their next course of action after reading the contents of the report.
Like Karua, he stressed that said the report must address issues around the high cost of living, overhaul of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC), audit of the 2022 presidential election results and reinforcement of the Political Parties Act.
“We will announce our next move should the bipartisan talks fail to address the issues we have put before the team such as the high cost of living,” said Raila.
Karua urged supporters not to yield to intimidation from the government adding that it is the opportune time for Kenyans to join hands and restore sanity in the country.
Speaking at the party’s headquarters, she criticised the government for hiking prices of petroleum products which has led to high inflation.
“We want to find service when we go to the hospitals. The cost of fuel is pushing the cost of living upwards. We want the additional tax of 8 per cent removed with immediate effect. That will help the cost of fuel stabilize. Currently, the taxes in Kenya are feeding corruption, not services. We must fight corruption which has tripled in this regime. The Controller of Budget said that we are paying for loans which we can’t ascertain which service they gave,” Karua stated.
Karua said that, to some extent, the public had contributed to their own suffering because of their electoral choices.
“You are the people who elect leaders. Last election, those who knew that they were not eligible under Chapter Six of the Constitution, did not want to hear the word track record or history. I just want to remind you that, even when you are employing someone to milk your cow, you would not dare employ somebody who stole just a bottle of milk from your neighbour,” she said.
Karua added: “But in management of public affairs, we are employing people whose track record is well known, corruption, land grabbing. We are giving a blank cheque. From the suffering today we must ask ourselves, when did the rain start beating us?”
In a bid to alleviate the suffering that Kenyans are enduring, Karua said, the country must embrace value-driven leadership.
Azimio has been calling for quick implementation of measures to lower the cost of unga, fuel, electricity and school fees.
The opposition also wants the talks committee to recommend a forensic audit of the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) servers used before, during and after the 2022 presidential election.